Work hard, don’t complain, and be up for doing whatever needs to be done. Elizabeth has been in Fiji this past week for a job, and that’s an 18-hour time difference. So if I have to respond to texts at 3 AM you just gotta do what you gotta do.
And then from an assistant's point of view, is there a specific trait that makes an intern standout?
Definitely. For example, when I interviewed Noor, I knew right away that she would be amazing.
She's so cute. We're obsessed with her, and you could tell from the beginning that she’s in love with the industry and she also has great experience. She worked with Patti before so she knew what this position would entail, she said all of the right things, she researched Elizabeth, etc.
It’s about showing that you’re passionate about what you're applying for because interviewers know that translates into working hard. Noor works really hard and will do whatever task is needed, which are sometimes crazy because that’s the industry that we’re in.
It’s not always the most fun, and definitely not glamorous, but you need people on your team who are willing to take it head on. Although it looks glamorous on the outside, we have to do anything and everything. So having a good attitude and doing whatever is asked of you is what’s most important.
I also want the interns to contribute a lot. Interns are not there to just run errands. I want their input, I want their help, and I want their opinions. So someone who has a really strong sense of style that's their own is definitely an asset. If you can contribute a cool new brand that you found on Instagram, please do.
And another thing, having someone who you get along with and who’s fun to be around in the office is super important too.
What does it mean to be a strong assistant?
Hard work, problem-solving, learning and listening, listening, listening, and asking questions. However, if you can easily google it, don’t ask it. So proactivity and figuring things out on your own is important and surprisingly lacking today. I think people are more dependent now. Working hard means getting your hands dirty and figuring things out on your own. I think that's becoming less and less evident in younger generations.
Which is evident for whenever I have to look for interns, it often becomes a very long, tedious process because it's hard to find good help and passionate help too, you know. It’s not enough to say, "Oh I want to work in fashion.” I like someone whose energy, dedication and an overall excitement for what we’re doing can be felt.
How did you make yourself stand out at AnOther Magazine?
I’m a perfectionist, and I always presented myself in a professional manor. Which is really important as an intern if you want to go on set, because there are some interns who you just think, "I'm not bringing them on set because they might do something crazy." I love interesting characters, but when you’re an intern on set you need to be very professional.
Never saying no, having thick skin, and being passionate.
I am sure this changes depending on the internship! But, I would say flexibility, curiosity, determination, and humility are pretty good qualities to have as an intern. You’re there to learn, and sometimes that entails doing tasks you’re less than enthused about, or testing skills that you may not feel as confident about. My motto is “assume nothing!” It is best not to get ahead of oneself.
Be attentive; be willing to do anything, to make your bosses lives easier. Be very helpful. Be personable. I mean, I’m not saying you're going to be best friends, but you’re going to be sending things to their apartment and possibly seeing their kids and things like that so it’s important to build a good relationship. Stay on top of everything because your boss is super busy. If you know she has a meeting at two o' clock remind her, you have to be her go-to person, her second set of eyes, ears, hands, everything. So be that. Try to go above and beyond as much as you can. You’ll definitely be doing some not so glamorous things, but take everything in stride.
I would say super organized, dedicated, professional and polite, but also you can't be a robot. I've seen other kids who sit quiet the whole day. I'm more like, already from day one, I was kind of making jokes and they looked at me like "Who do you think you are? You're not our friend." I'm just like that naturally, I'm a really outgoing person and I just immediately was so warm.
I wanted to make them feel immediately, which I think I did, that I'm a person too and I'm here because I love it and I love the people in this industry and it's a big family and I want to be part of that family so accept me.
But there’s boundaries, no?
There are. You can't be too much. There's a fine line between being outgoing and being obnoxious.
How do you judge that line?
Don't be all over the place. Nothing too personal. It does take time. Now obviously I'm much more comfortable with them and we joke about things and Patti will kiss me every time I see her and whatever, things like that.
In the beginning though it was more like I would say a joke and they'd kind of smile, almost like "Why is she joking but that's cute, she's nice," kind of thing.
Sort of like work is first, be professional but when there's downtime, you can try and get to know them a little bit. It also completely depends on the place, you have to match the energy.
Be organized, professional, and friendly. Take initiative. Make sure you have your shit together so that your boss can do all the crazy things that they have to do.